Over 1,000 members of the People’s Democratic Party from Ogun East Senatorial district of Ogun state have defected to the All Progressives Congress in the State.
The decampees were said to be loyalists of the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in the state during the 2019 general election, Senator Buruji Kashamu.
Leader of the decampees, Otunba Kolawole Akinyemi, said they decided to join the progressives as a result of landmark work done by the Governor so far attest to his sagacity and sincerity of purpose. He added that they would join hands with the Governor in moving the State forward.
Receiving them, Tunji Egbetokun, the Senior Special Adviser on political matters to the State Governor, Dapo Abiodun. Receiving them, Egbetokun who stood in for Gov. Abiodun said the decampees have made the right choice by joining the progressives, assuring them that the party would ensure fairness, equity and justice for all its members at all times, irrespective of when they join the party.
Egbetokun said, “our party is open to all, even members of other parties. You have come at the right time. In our party, we do not discriminate as we give due recognition to all members irrespective of how long they have been members or their social standing”.
While promising that the Dapo Abiodun’s administration would not disappoint members by formulating and executing policies and programmes that have a positive impact on the socio-economic well-being of the people, he urged the party faithful to remain resolute and not engage in activities that would bring the name of the into disrepute.
He charged the new members to bring in more people into the party, he, however, stressed that the administration would not stifle oppositions, as “competition becomes sweeter when there are opponents”. In his remark, the State Secretary of the Party, Engr. Ayo Olubori appreciated the people for coming on board. He applauded their strong desire to build the future of the State with Prince Dapo Abiodun and urged them to bring in new members to the party and work towards its progress and that of the State.
But, in his reaction, Kashamu dissociated himself from the PDP defectors, saying the action did not get his blessing.
A statement issued by his Media Adviser, Austin Oniyokor, quoted Senator Kashamu as saying that, “I do not have any problem with any one or a group of people exercising their right to freedom of association but such must be done responsibly and not with elements of lies, blackmail and outright subterfuge.
“Kola Akinyemi and his co-travellers should desist from dropping my name in their political prostitution and voyage of anywhere ‘belle face’. I dissociate myself and my genuine followers from this group of desperados.
Their movement to the APC in Ogun State does not have my blessings.” Kashamu further stated that while it is true that he has canvassed support for the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led Administration in the overall interest of the state, such should not be misconstrued to mean that he has defected to the APC or authorised any of his followers and associates to do so.
“It is true that politics is dynamic. If there is going to be any political alignment or movement in the future, it is going to be a collective decision with the buy-in of all stakeholders. And it will be done openly, not in the less than the honourable manner that these characters have done theirs.” The immediate past Senator, who represented Ogun East Senatorial District at the 8th National Assembly, urged all PDP members to keep faith with the party and continue to work for its interest and growth.